Did you know something commonly found in your yards here in New York state that is considered ancient herbal medicine?

Have you ever heard of Plantago Major? It is something that was at one time used for healing, nourishment, and to help with certain bowel issues. It's a pretty common plantain, broad-leaved plantain or Plantago major, and is found through most of Upstate New York and New York in general. It's a perennial that actively grows in the spring and summer. They look pretty ordinary but apparently are an ancient medicine of sorts.

According to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, this plant has been used since ancient times to help with all kinds of ailments:

Plantago major has been used widely since ancient times, to manage a wide range of diseases including constipation, coughs and wounds.

Herbalists have used the leaves and seeds of this common lawn plant for bronchitis and coughs, burns, insect bites, ulcers and also used for faster wound healing. Apparently they are very nutritious. Experts say that they are high in calcium and vitamins A, C, and K. The leaves are known to be used in Asian dishes.

Where To Find Plantago Major In New York State

Here's where to find plantago major in New York State thanks to this handy map from New York Flora Association:

New York Flora Association
New York Flora Association

Look out for this cool little plant in your backyard and you could take this knowledge with you next time you go camping or want to add a little something to dinner that can be harvested right from your front yard. It can also be found all over Maine and neighboring states.

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